Wednesday 7 December 2016

Fashion first as disabled model fronts campaign

BAIRBRE POWER Fashion EDITOR

Published 14/09/2010 | 05:00

Shannon pictured right, along with designer Ben de Lisi and other models
Shannon pictured right, along with designer Ben de Lisi and other models

ShaNNON Murray is the first disabled model to front a nationwide fashion campaign.

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The 32-year-old Dublin native, who broke her neck diving off rocks in Lanzarote when she was 14, this month fronts Debenhams' high street window campaign across 160 stores.

Shannon is a spokeswoman on disability issues and last night said it was important to portray a positive and realistic representation of disability in the media.

And she believes there is a "bigger social conscience" in Ireland than in Britain.

"Initially when I went back to Ireland after my accident, I thought things were more positive there. I think legislation is faster to move in Ireland than it is in England.

"People in Ireland are more politically aware and more socially involved so that plays quite a big factor in it. I think people want to be seen doing the right thing in Ireland and they have a social conscience, " Shannon added.

The model, who comes from a well-known music industry family, currently lives in London where she is about to embark on a legal career having completed her law studies.

Her father Frank, who came from Walkinstown in Dublin, managed a string of iconic bands such as Thin Lizzy, The Pogues and The Frames.

Her costume-designer mother Ferga came from Dolphin's Barn in Dublin and trained at the Grafton Academy as did Shannon's grandmother, Nora McGrattan, who had a shop, Apple, on Capel Street.

"Growing up all I ever wanted to do was act . Because I grew up behind the scenes of the music industry, there was no allure. Someone asked me if they had airbrushed my legs in the Debenhams advertisement and I said : 'No, my legs are that great.'

"My legs look good, they just don't work so well," she said.

Irish Independent

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